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Winter Sports Life


The


white stuff


They’re too old to hang out with Mum and Dad and too young for total independence – so Raff aella Barker asks what is the key to skiing with teens?


Alpbach in Austria off ers off -piste skiing and the fun of the choice of pubs and bars


I


t may seem like an enormous eff ort, not to mention a wild extravagance, to head for the ski slopes with a family of teenagers. Surely they will simply sleep all day, as they are prone to do at home,


so is there really any point? The answer is yes! Don’t underestimate the power of the adrenalin rush, combined with clean mountain air. It’s the best holiday you can have with them, and the benefi ts are far reaching. Teenagers may sometimes be sullen and


taciturn, but nothing wakes them up to life like the glitter of snow outside, a sunny sky and skiing. Seeing them with pink cheeks, sparkling eyes and laughter, where a parent normally only experiences grunting, is a treat. For parents with the nerves and the skill to keep up with their off spring, it is a joy to be able to ski alongside them. Choosing a destination for a skiing holiday with teenagers requires certain factors: other teenagers are vital to their enjoyment, even if they don’t know them. A friendly small resort like Alpbach in Austria is a big hit with families who want something for everyone, where a glorious remote chalet reached only by sleigh


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or helicopter might be incredible for parents looking for peace, but for teenagers it is just too quiet. In Alpbach they love the off -piste skiing and the fun of the variety of pubs and bars to hang out in. It’s great; it means “everyone” will be at Yakober for a karaoke evening, for example, and later on at night, the dancing starts. “It’s great for all ages as parents don’t





James Palmer-Tomkinson’s Top Ten Tips 1


Teenagers like being with other teenagers so this


Pick a resort with a recognisable name. If


you go to a resort no one has ever heard of teens might be disappointed before the holiday has even started.


2 3


ski and will want to go to the resort with the most bars and


4


Pick a resort with access to lots of skiing.


Teenagers will want to sample the local après-


should be in the back of your mind for all the holiday decisions you make.


nightclubs. If this fi lls you with horror, then ensure to pick a resort which is not too big. This will usually mean that the nightlife is more contained and manageable.


5 6


7


Ensure that they wear good helmets.


If you let them ski on their own, without adult


supervision, make sure they have a mobile phone on them, that it is fully charged and has the hotel number and SOS number programmed into it.


Have a structure for the week, such as an off -piste


8 9


How to help teenagers have a great holiday and ensure parents keep their peace of mind! course or a Fun Park course.


Try to avoid courses that last all week. Teenagers will


want to make sure that there will be opportunities to ski with other friends who are out there.


If they are complete beginners then a private


ski with your teenage children! 10 PT Ski run 3 day “PT Ski All Mountain” courses in Klosters for 14 to 18-year-old skiers over half term and the Easter holidays.


guide will get them going quicker and will be much more palatable than ski school. A private teacher will be more expensive than ski school, but it is worth it.


Wear modern ski clothes if you intend to


Autumn 2011 FirstEleven 71


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